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What is pemphigus vulgaris?

A:

Quick Answer

Pemphigus vulgaris is a rare disease that attacks the body's own cells, causing skin rashes and blistering on the skin and mucous membranes, states Healthline. The blisters are painful and do not itch.

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Full Answer

All mucous membranes can be affected with pemphigus vulgaris, including the eyes, throat, genitals, mouth, nose and lungs. The mouth is affected first, then the skin, and then the genitals. The condition results from the immune system makes antibodies against the proteins found in otherwise healthy skin and mucous membranes. The reason for this attack is not entirely known. It can also be caused by taking penicillamine or blood pressure medication containing ACE inhibitors, according to Healthline, but this is rare. The disease can be genetic, and certain people are more prone to get this disease if they live in Brazil's rain forests, have a Mediterranean heritage, are older, are middle-aged or are Jewish and reside in eastern Europe.

Corticosteroids are often prescribed to treat pemphigus vulgaris, in addition to medication that suppresses the immune system. If the mouth blisters cause great discomfort, the patient may need an IV to supply their system with nutrition.

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